Penn Center for Innovation

Virtual Reality Can Save Your Life

The woman on the treadmill next to you at the gym collapses. You rush to her side, but she’s not breathing and has no pulse. Do you know what to do next?

If not, virtual reality may be the key to saving her life.

Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is triggered by electrical malfunction. It comes on suddenly and often without warning.

The heart stops beating. Blood can’t reach the brain, lungs, and other vital organs. The victim loses consciousness and, without treatment, will die within minutes.

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